By Councilmember Claude Wells
As members of the Riverton City Council, we are collectively on several boards as part of our Council duties. One of my many board assignments has been with the South Valley Chamber (SVC). This board is directed by Jay Francis, president / CEO and Don Willie, vice president of marketing chief operating officer. The chamber has six dedicated staff members have have helped us revamp the organization into a profitable, well-run chamber. I joined the chamber board shortly after being elected to the city council in 2020. Then, the pandemic hit and changed everything we knew. This added some challenges to the bottom line of the South Valley Chamber. Post-pandemic, the board and staff members have grown the South Valley Chamber into a very successful and sought out chamber.
The chamber provides training and business mentoring for members as one of several programs for helping small business owners. We offered several business programs, all meant to help business, including:
- Business Institute
- Leadership Program
- Business Academy
- Everyday Entrepreneur
- Business Mastery
- Business Networking and Education Events
- Small Business Expo
The South Valley Chamber serves four cities: Riverton, South Jordan, Draper and Sandy. Growth in 2021-2022 was phenomenal. New business membership for 2022 increased by 137. The chamber hosted 56 events with over 2,200 attendees, awarded over $17,000 to youth entrepreneurs, launched the South Valley Small Business Expo and produced 15 podcast episodes featuring local businesses and community leaders.
Some of the main events were Women in Business, Let’s Do Lunch, In the Know and the Executive Forum. The three golf fundraisers the chamber sponsored were a lot of fun. The chamber’s Titan Awards event honored community leaders who have made a difference in our community through their leadership or service.